Topic: Waitangi

Te Hapuku descendant keeps Waitangi Day history alive

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Ngāti Kahungunu kaumatua Jerry Hapuku, the great-grandson of Heretaunga chief Te Hapuku is keeping his memory alive by leading a hīkoi whakamaumahara where his ancestor signed the Treaty in Clive.

Seventy-seven-year-old kaumatua Jerry Hapuku leads this hīkoi every year.

"It's good to be able to do this hīkoi just like the Pākehā says as long as I'm still walking I'll still do it," says Jerry.

He is the fifth generation in the line of Heretaunga chief Te Hapuku who signed the treaty along with Harawira Mahikai and Hoani Waikato at Tukituki river mouth.

Te Hapuku signed reluctantly on the 24th June in 1840 on the HMS Herald, which eventuated into land loss.

"It caused problems when land got stolen from our tipuna, it was a big issue here in Heretaunga when the land got sold and taken by the Pākehā."

He says it's an important part of history that should be remembered so it's not forgotten and lost.